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First time you saw a tattoo

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When was the first time you remember seeing a tattoo.....

The year was 1992! My closet friend (still to this day) had just had his first child and was doing a piece for her. It was Mickey Mouse from the movie Fantasia. I at the time didn't know anything about tattoos. I just knew you were doing this act that would remain for long after. So in ignorance I didn't agree with getting a tattoo. We go into the shop (Divinci - Wantaugh NY) and I watch as they discuss design and the artist prepares the stencil and away they go. Don't know what drew me in but it grabbed me. Halfway thru the session I am booking an appointment for my first tattoo. Never looked back..... My wife blames my buddy for getting me into tattoos.

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I grew up in a hippy ass section of Minneapolis called the West Bank, and there were a few biker bars on the south end of the neighborhood. I remember I was about 8 years old when I really noticed them and thought they were rad as shit.

On another note, I remember when my son first noticed tattoos as something unnatural on the body. When he was 3, he was sitting on my lap when his eyes locked onto my arm. He grabbed my arm firmly and scanned it over with intense focus...then let out the words "cool, dad"

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When I was really little my dad had a friend with a couple of old military tattoos. I can't remember what they were, but I remember thinking how much cooler he was than my dad and wishing my dad had been in the service so that he would have tattoos too.

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I remember it very clearly. One of my crazy uncle's crazier friends showed up and had just gotten a new tattoo. My uncle being the nice guy that he was slapped him directly on the back were the new tattoo was. Off came the bandages to review the damage...it was a fuckin panther crawling on a log.

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This is not a story about the first tattoo I saw, rather a story about the first tattooed person I saw. I was 15 busting suds at some restaurant, trying to move my way up through the ranks, so anything the Executive Chef needed I was on it. This guy was pretty laid back though. He would have me do stuff like wait at the back door for his weed dude to come and shit like that. So this guy was always long sleeved chef jacket buttoned to the top, always in uniform when he arrived.

One day I am waiting for his weed guy, and he goes back to check on me, and notices this dumbass looking stick and poke tattoo I have on my arm. First tattoo, that is another story.

So he's like" What the hell is that?" And I go on to explain to him how cool I think I am cause I have this dumb tattoo. So he asks me if I like tattoos and I'm like "yeah dude" obviously I have this sweet tattoo. So he motions me to the bathroom and starts unbuttoning his jacket, removes his shirt and the guy has an almost complete body suit. I could not believe it I was dumb founded. My jaw was on the floor. I remember at the time it was Asian influenced, so with what I know now I would say it was probably Japanese inspired. I remember a dragon and a demon looking thing, lots of black. It was insane looking. That day really influenced my life and my path. Really cool experience for me. I just wanted to share when I saw this thread.

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My father has had tattoos since before I was born so I really can't remember since I was probably less than a day old haha. I never had some defineing moment like that. Mine would be more the first time I remember being exposed to good tattoos which was less than a decade ago.

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It was on my homeboy's dad. he was from a old gang called lomita maravilla, from east LA.

He had a topless girl ina sombrero, just her torso. I think some roses too. She had a rifle in her hand, her nipples were covered by a ammo belt.

On the other forearm he had this little dude in a sombrero, but you could just see his feet, his mustache, some shotgun barrels, and that big sombrero. it said MARAVILLA in gang writing, arched above the hat. Youd see writing like that all over and I used to try and copy it or write my name in those letters too like in schoolwork I'd write the answers like that, or my name all crazy like that and they'd get pissed.

Anyways I'd always try and look at those tattoos when I'd go to his house, but they were old and sort of faded. He was a garbage man, and sort of a scary lookin dude, or was back then and i didnt wanna hassle him or fuck with him about it. Years later I asked to see em, and got a good look.

Another friend had a older punk rocker sister with a pachuco cross under her eye, but that was later, and I found out it was make up. Lots of punk rockers would do that with a ballpoint pen or mascara if they hung in certain scenes.

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It was on my homeboy's dad. he was from a old gang called lomita maravilla, from east LA.

He had a topless girl ina sombrero, just her torso. I think some roses too. She had a rifle in her hand, her nipples were covered by a ammo belt.

On the other forearm he had this little dude in a sombrero, but you could just see his feet, his mustache, some shotgun barrels, and that big sombrero. it said MARAVILLA in gang writing, arched above the hat. Youd see writing like that all over and I used to try and copy it or write my name in those letters too like in schoolwork I'd write the answers like that, or my name all crazy like that and they'd get pissed.

Anyways I'd always try and look at those tattoos when I'd go to his house, but they were old and sort of faded. He was a garbage man, and sort of a scary lookin dude, or was back then and i didnt wanna hassle him or fuck with him about it. Years later I asked to see em, and got a good look.

Another friend had a older punk rocker sister with a pachuco cross under her eye, but that was later, and I found out it was make up. Lots of punk rockers would do that with a ballpoint pen or mascara if they hung in certain scenes.

that's interesting. I never heard of someone wearing a fake "tattoo", except one of those stick on tattoos for kids.

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There was always people with tattoos where I grew up , mostly home made blurs on their forearms or old guys with hand tattoos ... The first tattoo I saw that kinda made me go wow was on one of my Fathers friends. My dad was a bigot and involved with the Orange Order and when I was really young he used to take me fishing with his pals (ie a bunch of guys hire a boat and get pished drunk for the day - it was back in the 70's where drinking and driving and driving a boat whilst looking after a 10 year old was acceptable ....) He got one of his pals to show me his back and it was a huuuge back piece of King William III on his white charger crossing the Boyne and a banner with some suitably sectarian bullshit underneath!! Kinda like something youd see painted on a wall in Belfast .... I hate everything that it represents but its was a fuckin wow tattoo that stuck in my mind all these years!!

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He got one of his pals to show me his back and it was a huuuge back piece of King William III on his white charger crossing the Boyne and a banner with some suitably sectarian bullshit underneath!! Kinda like something youd see painted on a wall in Belfast ....

I love tattoos like that. I'd rather look at one of those over a 1,000 Bert Krak panther heads or Daniel albrigo Navajo blanket tattoos.

Offensive tattoos, racist tattoos, religious tattoos, drifter, hobo tattoos, Political tattoos, obscene tattoos. Tattoos done in garages, motel rooms, Russian penitentiary tattoos, south African gang tattoos, british soccer hooligan tattoos, handpoked punk tattoos, facetats, poorly thought out names on necks. I've always loved ugly tattoos, and I always will.

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The three that sort of blend together:

-My dad has a small hand-poked 't' on his forearm that was going to spell out his name, but he stopped before they got that far. he's always said he regretted it.

-My grandpa has a bat flying past a full moon on his forearm and a few others, but the bat sticks out in my mind the most.

-My barber (first haircut through the time he passed away when I was 18) was in the Navy and had old school anchors and eagles.

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There was a group of Bandidos that rented the house across the street from me when I was about 7, and I'm sure they had tattoos, but we were all too scared to look at them for very long. But a few houses down from them, there was a crazy guy named Joe Bailey who would do shit like wrestle alligators for fun. (No, seriously. He once called me over to check out something in his backyard, and he had a six-foot alligator--with its mouth duct-taped shut--in a makeshift chicken wire pen. "We was in the bass boat fishin'. I seen him in the water and I just jumped on him and held on!")

Anyway, Joe had a classic Hot Stuff wearing a diaper and holding a pitchfork with "BORN TO RAISE HELL" above it. Zero irony, just the God's honest truth. My dad used to talk shit on Joe's tattoos: "He's workin' on a shirt." In fact, he probably only had 4 or 5 palm-sized tattoos. It's funny how perspectives differ.

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I couldn't have been more than 3 when I noticed my Dad had the old school skull with the snake crawling through the the eye socket tattooed on his bicep. I didn't understand how it got there or why it was permanent, but I damned sure knew I wanted one. I was hooked on anything to do with tattoos from then on, always have been, always will be.

I found the Sailor Jerry flash version of that skull and snake last year and got it big as Hell on my calf. I can't wait to show him the next time I see him.

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I would have been 3 or 4. I used to sit on my grandfathers lap and trace his tattoo's. He was the only one in my family with tattoos. It wasn't until I was 11 when I saw another person with a tattoo.She had a thigh piece of Alice in wonderland. It was like a totem pole of the characters. My mom met my stepdad when I was 12 and he was pretty much covered with tattoo's.

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I love tattoos like that. I'd rather look at one of those over a 1,000 Bert Krak panther heads or Daniel albrigo Navajo blanket tattoos.

Offensive tattoos, racist tattoos, religious tattoos, drifter, hobo tattoos, Political tattoos, obscene tattoos. Tattoos done in garages, motel rooms, Russian penitentiary tattoos, south African gang tattoos, british soccer hooligan tattoos, handpoked punk tattoos, facetats, poorly thought out names on necks. I've always loved ugly tattoos, and I always will.

Many many years ago a wise old motorcycle enthusiast of my acquaintance told me, "I like good-looking tattoos as much as anyone else, but I just don't feel like you're getting the whole tattoo experience unless you have some shit like your old lady's initials that looks like it was drawn on with a green crayon and the third letter is only half done."

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I always recall people having tattoos, but the first time I saw someone getting tattooed I was about 13 in my friends kitchen, homemade tat gun and ballpoint pen ink and 40's of King Cobra, now it's a party. I call it a tat gun because it was not a machine by any stretch of the imagination.

That was the first time when it clicked in my head that anyone could go get a tattoo. Fast forward a few years and my first apartment was behind a pawn shop, a metal club, and Snake's Tattoo in Colorado Springs. My co worker (I was in construction at the time) was piecing together a sleeve at the time so that was really when I started hanging out in tattoo shops.

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I was 6 at the time. I was on the bus going home from 1st grade, the last day of school too, so it was memorable. Our regular bus driver had been replaced by this guy who was not in his happy place. He was yelling at us to keep quiet and what not... he was wearing a wife-beater shirt and had a couple of tattoos that I could see. I got a glimpse of one that was military related.

The only thing that most of us knew about tattoos was the "prize" tattoos that came in boxes of Cracker Jacks. You know the box I'm sure, with the sailor on it that was probably inked from head to toe under his uniform.

CG

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